On October 23rd, Paul McCartney and Billboard released an animated music video with People for Ethical Treatment of Animals, PETA, for his 1993 protest anthem, “Looking for Changes.” McCartney has been a long-time animal rights activist through his encouragement in plant-based diets and through his collaborations with PETA. This music video highlights his anti-vivisection, meaning anti-animal experimentation and viewpoints. The animated video illustrates a cat being hooked up to a machine, a rabbit almost being injected by a shot and a monkey being forced to smoke cigarettes in a lab. Nevertheless, they all escape and eventually follow McCartney to Capitol Hill to protest such treatment. McCartney sings as he is surrounded by cheerful animals and other people holding signs such as, “FREE the ANIMALS” and “END VIVISECTION.” The music video ends by advising the public to join him in telling Congress to make the switch toward more reliable, non-animal testing methods.
McCartney’s song is donated to the PETA campaign that funds modern research methods rather than cruel experiments on animals. As a matter of fact, according to the PETA’s campaign, about 47 percent of the grants awarded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which is the largest public funder of biomedical experimentation around the world, goes toward experiments on dogs, rats, monkeys and other animals that can imitate human physiology. However, most of these experiments are deemed useless as they generally do not produce results for cures or effective treatments for humans. Therefore, the public’s tax money is going to waste.
While McCartney’s music video only demonstrates just a few of the brutal methods of vivisection, he and PETA are aware that there are several other ways in which the NIH continues to cruelly test on animals. The campaign asks the public to email their members of Congress and encourage them to mandate that the NIH ceases in spending taxpayer money on inconclusive and nasty experiments. Alternatively, the money should be contributed to modern, non-animal methods of research.
“I’m looking for changes that will continue the momentum of getting animals out of laboratories,” says McCartney. “Experiments on animals are unethical—they’re a colossal failure and a waste of time and money. We can and must do better.”
McCartney is amongst a plethora of musicians like Nick Cave, The Black Keys, Sia, Morrissey and Chrissie Hynde who believe that “animals are not ours to experiment on” and have also donated their songs to PETA.
While McCartney’s Billboard-exclusive music video is just one step in getting animals away from unethical experiments, I think it is a great start in getting everyone informed. I believe that animals should not suffer, especially if the results are inadequate and unusable in advancing research. Furthermore, PETA says there are other ways in which people can help against animal testing. They encourage the public to call out companies that test on animals and to purchase products that are cruelty free. In fact, whenever buying new makeup or skincare, shoppers can turn to Cruelty-Free Kitty, a website that offers an entire guide on purchasing cruelty-free beauty products. (I do this all the time!) They update their website regularly, and it is pretty exciting to see brands make the switch to cruelty-free. (I was thrilled when CoverGirl made the change because I have found my new favorite mascara from them!) Overall, PETA says that one of the best things that anyone can do is educate themselves on animal testing.
Stay informed and make sure to check out McCartney’s music video on Billboard!